I DIDN’T SEE THAT ONE COMING

Some situations in my life blindside me and lead me to ask “I didn’t see that one coming.” This Lectio Divina (Philippians 2:5) was like that. There are just lots of images bombarding my conscious mind, all different, some quite bizarre. It is like the Holy Spirit is having a headache and says, “Don’t bother me today, kid”. Nevertheless, here they are as best I can remember.

What kind of God would allow me to choose not to love him? Maybe this is what authentic, unconditional love is all about.

Saving us from our sins does not mean God saves us from making a complete fool out of ourselves. Our choices define who we are, even if those choices are contrary to what God tries to show us.

After the Resurrection of Christ, the Garden of Eden became the Kingdom of Heaven. This spiritual universe begins for me when I am baptized and ends with my moving to the Kingdom of Heaven II with God (if I am judged worthy).

The Kingdom of Heaven has two parts, consistent with my humanity: 1. On earth, as we are given the tools (Chapter 4 of the Rule of St. Benedict) of good works to do what Christ has commanded us. 2. In heaven, as we live out what we have learned about how to love others as Christ loves us.

We all need food and water to sustain us on earth. In the physical universe informed by the mental universe, our food becomes part of us. When we enter the spiritual universe (kingdom of heaven on earth) through baptism and my acceptance of Jesus as Son of God and messiah (John 20:30-31), we have food but this time the food is God’s energy. When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we become what we eat (grace). The Cistercian practices of Liturgy of the Hours, and certainly Lectio Divina, need nourishment. Eucharist is the very food of Christ’s own body and blood that I am able to consume. What a gift of self that is

God accepted me as his adopted son on September 29, 1940, the feast of St. Michael and All Angels. I was wrapped in the Faith of my parents and godparents and sustained by the Faith of the Church Universal until I could make a confirmation of that Faith in front of the Church. Since that day, each and every day, I have confessed Jesus as Son of God, Savior to the glory of the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit. That means I have made 25,560 professions of faith (some days more than others) in my desire to have in me the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5).

The joy that comes from cosmic resonance can only be appreciated by individual contemplation that leads to making room for Christ is my heart. It is the hidden room that all of us have, one that we fear to enter either because we don’t know about it or that it is the holy of holies, the ark of the covenant where Christ is there waiting for me to sit down on a park bench in the middle of winter.

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